VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
These products literally blew up in people's faces. For this list, we'll be looking at the items that turned out to be major fire hazards. Our countdown of products that were known to explode includes the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, First Generation iPod Nano, AmazonBasics Line, and more!
Top 10 Products That Were Known to Explode
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Products That Were Known to Explode.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the items that turned out to be major fire hazards.
Did you ever own an exploding piece of tech? Let us know in the comments below.
#10: Samsung Galaxy Note 7
At launch, this Android phone lived up to its name with out-of-this-world pre-orders. But, like a supernova, it burned bright and fast - somewhat literally. The Galaxy Note 7 had barely been on shelves for a month when reports surfaced that its battery generated an excessive amount of heat. So much heat that, at times, the phones could actually combust. Samsung quickly suspended sales, and a few weeks later, a formal recall went into place. A month after that, the Galaxy Note 7 was retired altogether. Guess you could say they flew too close to the sun.
#9: Illuminated Mirrors
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what’s the brightest bulb of all? Well, the answer is apparently any kind that came with the RH illuminated set. The luxury mirrors were lined with bulb sockets meant to spruce up a room’s lightning. But, consumers soon realized that loose components in the wiring posed a serious fire hazard. To be fair, the mirrors certainly brighten up any space. Just with flames instead of electricity. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite the intention. RH issued an immediate recall and refunded any customers who picked up the faulty mirror. The perfect lighting just wasn’t worth the risk.
#8: Beats Pill XL Speaker
Apparently, there’s such a thing as too much music. Originally, Apple’s line of Beats products were a hot commodity on store shelves. But, when they supersized the speaker to an extra-large shape, the added battery packs couldn’t handle the heat. No pun intended. See, in a few rare instances, the pill-shaped music player could burst into flames. Not quite what people expected when they asked for “fire” music tracks. At the very least, Apple issued a quick recall and later fixed the issue with the units. Nowadays, the Beats Pill XL speaker is back on the market without any fear of spontaneous explosion.
#7: First Generation iPod Nano
Apple’s answer to the growing MP3 market sparked a lot of conversation during its announcement. But, as it turns out, the iPod Nano continued to spark long after it left the pop-culture zeitgeist. Whether it was overcharged, in your pocket, or collecting dust in a drawer, the first wave of Nano’s could randomly ignitie. An investigation proved that the original line’s aging batteries had a chance of overheating, and even bursting into flames. By the time Apple announced a replacement service, the first edition Nano had long since been replaced by newer models. Models that had much more efficient, non-explosive batteries. That alone is worth the price of an upgrade.
#6: Maytag Dishwashers
Sure, dishwashers are supposed to keep your plates and utensils dry. But, Maytag took that idea way too far. The machine’s soapy rinse-aid had a tendency of leaking into the washer’s internal wiring. Then, instead of just a hot steaming, the dishes would end up in the middle of a very real electrical fire. Maytag publicly called back all of the problematic washers, but that didn’t stop over one hundred units from turning into an inferno. Luckily, there were no serious reported injuries. But, the same can’t be said for Maytag’s image. It’ll take more than a few loads in the washer to clean that mess up.
#5: Hyundai Seat Belts
Ironically, the part of a car that’s supposed to keep you safe ended up doing the exact opposite for some Hyundai vehicles. As with most all modern seat belts, the safety harnesses were built with pressure sensors meant to lock during a crash. However, an issue with the pretensioner meant the seat belts were more likely to explode than tighten. And we do mean literally “explode,” shrapnel and all. At that point, they’re basically as dangerous as a car crash itself. With that at stake, it’s no surprise to hear that Hyundai had to recall more 65,000 individual vehicles. Safety first, and all that.
#4: SunVilla Corp. Umbrellas
On paper, sun-powered patio umbrellas sound like a marketing slam dunk. And, the initial sales figures only proved as much. But, as it turned out, the innovative umbrellas stored a bit too much solar power. When the lithium-ion batteries overheated, they went up in flames. Since they were tied into fabric umbrellas, the entire product was basically a ticking time bomb waiting to ignite. Unless you want it to rain fireballs, you’re better off getting your shade somewhere else. The distributor agreed, and soon ordered a mass recall on the umbrellas. But, not before over 400,000 of them had already been sold.
#3: Takata Airbags
Despite being a safety measure, the Takata-branded airbags proved to be anything but safe. Unfortunately, some people learned that too late. The bags were known to pop when exposed to extreme humidity or moisture. The impact could cause injury and, at worst, death. After decades upon decades of reported accidents, the Takata Airbags eventually became the subject of the largest automotive recall in American history. Unable to pay their hefty compensation fees, the Takata Corporation shut their doors for good in 2017. But, that’s not enough to make up for all the lives their so-called “safety measures” took.
#2: AmazonBasics Line
Microwaves. Phone chargers. Patio lights. You name it, you can probably get it on Amazon. To really hammer it home, they heavily pushed their own in-house line of tech products. Introducing: AmazonBasics. It’s everything you need, for a fraction of the cost. The catch? Most of them should’ve come bundled with a fire extinguisher. As of 2020, there were at least seventy AmazonBasics products that had reportedly melted or exploded when in use. Some of which, like a phone USB charger, had nearly caused entire houses to burn down. And yet, all the investigations and backlash hasn’t stopped Amazon from continuing to sell their Basics line.
Ever since “Back to the Future Part II” showed how cool they could be, everyone has longed for the day they could ride a real-life hoverboard. But, if these are any indication, we may want to wait a few more years before trying them out. The first few mainstream attempts at a self-balancing scooter ended up in flames. And that’s no hyperbole. The batteries frequently overheated, leading to recalls, scandals, and more fires than you can count. Just imagine how terrifying it’d be to look down and realize your hoverboard is leaving scorch marks in its wake. And that’s if it doesn’t go “boom” altogether. Clearly, we aren’t at Marty McFly’s future just yet.